Coated Paper $ vs. Uncoated Paper $

Illustration Regan Dunnick ©2017

Myth: Uncoated Text and Cover Paper costs less than Coated.

Fact: Actually, the reverse is true. A premium smooth uncoated sheet may cost as much as 170% more than a comparable coated sheet such as Sappi’s McCoy paper (and this is Sappi’s highest quality and most expensive paper). A high-end opaque could cost as much as 20% more.

Why is that? A key reason is that wood fiber is one of the most expensive components of paper, and uncoated papers require a higher ratio of fiber per pound than coated sheets. Specialty uncoated paper machines must also run slower and produce smaller quantities to accommodate frequent color and finish changes on the equipment. Coated paper machines can run faster and continuously, thus lowering manufacturing costs. A coating layer also fills in the sheet’s non-uniform topography to provide a more consistent print surface and superior image fidelity.

On press, premium coated sheets allow printers to produce high fidelity colors along with dense solids and smooth screen tints, and are available in gloss, silk, dull, and matte surface options. Unlike uncoated sheets, premium papers like Sappi’s McCoy and Opus can handle an array of highly visual and tactile special printing techniques such as soft touch, rubber, sandpaper, reticulating, liquid foil, and color shifting effects. When cost, design, and printing options are important, premium coated papers offer excellent benefits.

Paper choice is one of those critical details, so don’t leave it to chance—or make a decision based on a common (incorrect) myth. Want to see what I mean? Order our new True/False brochure to see for yourself how McCoy paper can deliver on the details of design.

Does that make sense?

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